Trump to sign border bill, declare emergency

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 14, 2019 - Duration: 01:42s

Trump to sign border bill, declare emergency

President Donald Trump will sign a border security bill to avert another government shutdown, but also declare a national emergency to try to obtain funds for his promised U.S.-Mexico border wall, a White House spokeswoman said on Thursday.

Nathan Frandino has more.

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Trump to sign border bill, declare emergency

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL, (R) - KENTUCKY, SAYING: "I would say to all my colleagues, he has indicated he's prepared to sign the bill." A stunning announcement on the Senate floor Thursday from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ends days of doubt over whether President Donald Trump would agree to a bipartisan border security deal.

But Trump told McConnell he will also declare a national emergency… a move many Republicans had opposed.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL, (R) - KENTUCKY, SAYING: "We'll be voting on it shortly." The news - which came just minutes before the Senate voted to advance the bill - appeared to rule out another government shutdown.

The bipartisan deal offers $1.37 billion for new fencing along the border with Mexico but does not grant Trump the $5.7 billion he wanted for the wall, which he says is needed to stop drugs and illegal immigrants from entering the U.S. Declaring an emergency will allow Trump to tap other funds to build his long-promised wall but is nearly certain to provoke a heated court battle.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was swift to react.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI, (R) - CALIFORNIA, SAYING: "We will review our options.

We will be prepared to respond appropriately to it." Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said earlier he expected Trump to take that route.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SEN.

LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) - SOUTH CAROLINA, SAYING: "If you could actually use the money to put up barriers where it makes sense I think I'm good to go.

--and let him march toward filling in the gaps with executive action." The Senate and House are expected to hold their final votes on the compromise deal later on Thursday.

The deal would also provide more than $300 billion to fund the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies through the end of the current fiscal year.

Trump's refusal to sign a funding bill in December sparked the shutdown that wound up lasting a record 35 days, disrupting life for 800,000 federal workers.

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